Austin Eguavoen has expressed his regret at leaving Chidera Ejuke out of the squad that lost to Tunisia in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16.

Nigeria crashed out of the competition, following a 1-0 loss to the Carthage Eagles on Sunday night.

The Eagles’ attacking threat in the group stages came from the wings, but the lively Moses Simon was kept quiet while Samuel Chukwueze struggled throughout the minutes he played.

Although Eguavoen made a couple of changes from the bench, he could not bring on Ejuke, who was one of the creative players in the squad.

Ejuke made a cameo against Egypt in the opening match, while he started against Guinea-Bissau, but he was not on the bench against Tunisia.

Eguavoen has now admitted it was a mistake to leave him out as he could have solved Nigeria’s problems in the attacking third.

“I think it was a mistake on my part not dressing Chidera Ejuke for the game against Tunisia,” Eguavoen told Soccernet after the game.

“I take responsibility for whatever that happened at the round of 16,” he added.

The Super Eagles will not turn their attention to the 2022 World Cup playoffs, where they will face Ghana across two legs.

The winner of the tie will join the other four African teams in the other fixtures to represent Africa at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.